Energy emissions audit shows RET is working

The Australia Institute's National Energy Emissions Audit for February 2018 shows that in the year to January 2018, emissions from electricity generators supplying the NEM the lowest level since 2004. The Institute says the result demonstrates the success of the Large Renewable Energy Target policy.

Written by energy analyst Hugh Saddler, the Audit shows that Australia’s energy system is in transition, regardless of the political turmoil the change is creating.

Other key points of the audit are:

  • Annual demand continues to gradually decline in the NEM as a whole, and in New South Wales and Queensland, the two states with the largest consumption in the NEM, accounting together for almost two thirds of total NEM consumption. Consumption in South Australia and Western Australia remains virtually constant, while it is increasing in Victoria and Tasmania.

  • New South Wales and Queensland lag behind other states in the transition away from fossil fuel generation. Coal and gas generators supply 95% of all electricity generated in Queensland and 90% in New South Wales. Corresponding figures for Victoria are 84% and for South Australia 55%. In Tasmania, hydro, wind and rooftop solar supply 90% of all electricity generated.

  • During January, the Hornsdale Power Reserve “big battery” was used daily to charge overnight, when wind generation is often abundant and cheap, and discharge in the late afternoon, when total demand and spot market prices usually reach peak levels, demonstrating the very valuable role that energy storage can play in the operation of an electricity supply system with high levels of renewable generation.

The National Energy Emissions Audit is available here.

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